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Top 5 Sports Stories

06/29/2012 11:29 am ET | Updated Aug 29, 2012
  • Len Berman Emmy Award winning sportscaster and New York Times Bestselling Author

TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for June 29, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

  • For the first time in NBA draft history, the same college, champion Kentucky, produced the top two picks: Anthony Davis by New Orleans, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist by Charlotte.
  • Rafael Nadal is upset by 100th ranked Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic 6-4 in the fifth set in the second round at Wimbledon.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins have a deal with their superstar Sidney Crosby: $104.4 million over 12 years.
  • Italy beat Germany 2-1 and will face Spain Sunday for the Euro 2012 title.
  • Pitching, pitching and more pitching. The Giants throw their fourth consecutive shutout, a Madison Bumgarner one-hitter against the Reds, as San Francisco takes over first place.

2. Cheaters!

I'm sure none of my Top 5 subscribers are familiar with Ashley Madison. It's a web site for cheating spouses. Anyway, they polled women to find out which athletes they'd want to cheat on their husbands with. The British Olympic soccer team may not want David Beckham, but cheating wives do, Beckham came in first. And who says Tim Tebow can't beat out Tom Brady? He did in this poll finishing second to Brady's third. And Tebow crushed fellow Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez in the poll. As for the "experience factor," Sanchez supposedly dates supermodels, and Tebow's a virgin. Now do the Jets understand what they're up against with Tebowmania?

3. Here's the Pitch

So it needs to be asked again, why does it seem great pitching is rearing its head again? It was after the 1968 season that they lowered the pitcher's mound to give hitters a better chance. Bob Gibson throwing 13 shutouts seemed to annoy everyone. And as a result of tinkering with the mound, batting averages went up in 1969. Then the American League came up with the designated hitter to help the offense. Are great pitching performances too easy again? We've already had two perfect games, three no-hitters and four straight shutouts by the same staff, and we haven't reached the All-Star break. Batting averages are on the decline, dipping each year since 2006. Forget the reasons, what's the solution? Five balls, four outs?

4. Friday eMailbag

With the announcement of a 4-team playoff in college football to begin for the 2014 season, Top 5 subscriber P.G. asks, "So having two teams somewhat arbitrarily chosen to play for the title is bad, but four chosen even more arbitrarily is a big improvement?"

With the Yankees Dwayne Wise getting credit for a "catch" with no ball in his glove, R.M. writes "A new wrinkle on the 'hidden ball trick.'"

As for women's tennis using "Grunt-o-meters" to penalize screeching players in the future, J.R. writes: "Tennis etiquette requires that thousands of fans remain quiet during a point. How about if the two or four players on the court do the same by ruling out any grunts or other noises. If they do make sounds, they lose the point. Trying to measure, no less enforce, degrees of utterances is folly."

And in regards to the woman who drove her Buick into a sand trap, I.T. wants a ruling. He asks, "So if my ball ended up UNDER the Buick, what's the rule? Do I get to move it a club length? How about a car length?"

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from Madame Tussauds where they unveiled a wax figure of the Knicks Carmelo Anthony. Sorry about the short commercial, but it's a funny bit. I remember Chevy Chase doing something similar on his short-lived talk show, but it never gets old.

Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: Thursday, July 19 in the 8:30 a.m. half hour.

I'll be hosting for an hour on WFAN this Sunday at 3 p.m. on their 25th anniversary.

Happy Birthday: NASCAR driver Jeff Burton. 45.

Bonus Birthday: Comedian Richard Lewis. 65.

Today in Sports: The Chicago Cubs set a record by scoring 36 runs. But did they win? 1897.

Bonus Event: So five years ago. The iPhone went on sale. 2007.

Fun Fact: The Top 5 was opened three times in Russia yesterday, but not in Alaska. I thought you could see it from there?

Have a great July 4 everyone. The Top 5 returns Monday, July 9.

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